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How to Build and Furnish a Log Cabin: The easy, natural way using only hand tools and the woods around you Paperback – November 1, 1974


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How to Build and Furnish a Log Cabin: The easy, natural way using only hand tools and the woods around you + Rustic Construction + Rustic Furniture Basics
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 166 pages
  • Publisher: Collier Books; 1st edition (November 1, 1974)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0020016700
  • ISBN-13: 978-0020016700
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,832 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The only step-by-step guide to building log cabins and log furniture—Pioneer style

There are other manuals on building cabins, but W. Ben Hunt's is the only one to show you how to build and furnish an authentic pioneer cabin-the easy, natural way, using only hand tools and the woods around you. Our ancestors used logs and hand tools to build durable, dry, windproof, and protective dwellings; and they fashioned chairs, tables, branches, and bushes. In this day of power saws, lumberyards, and high prices, it's good to know that you can build in the same way.

How to Build a Log Cabin
Part One provides complete directions for building cabins of three sizes: one-room, one-room and lean-to, and three-room. Just follow the clear instructions on every step of construction from choosing the site, clearing the tract, and building the foundation to installing fixtures, heating, and lighting.

How to Furnish a Log Cabin
If you're not ready to build an entire cabin, you can try your hand at some of the small furnishings such as lamps, fences, and candlesticks. Part Two tells all you need to know to build and finish rustic furniture for an entire home: benches, tables, chairs, beds, cots, shelves, candelabras, gates, arbors, wayside stands, even road signs and birdhouses.

"Two Books in One"
There are really two books in one here: Building a Log Cabin, published in 1947, and Rustic Construction, published in 1939. These two classics have been reproduced exactly as they first appeared, with the drawings and photographs that W. Ben Hunt selected and produced for the original editions.

About the Author

W. BEN HUNT, a self-taught expert on the crafts of the Plains and Woodland Indians, was born in Wisconsin in 1888. Most of his life was spent teaching, creating artwork, building cabins and furniture, and lecturing about the out-of-doors. He is the author of many books, including Macmillan's The Complete How-to Book of Indiancraft.

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Customer Reviews

Good reading, helpful tips, and descent illustrations, too.
PapaGeo
As long as you understand that, this is the best book for learning how to build a log cabin.
Space Man Spiff
A much better lifetime product would be PermaChink which you can find on the internet.
Addison Dewitt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

123 of 127 people found the following review helpful By Addison Dewitt VINE VOICE on September 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
I built a log cabin in the 1980's using this book and two others. The cabin is still dry and clean and will probably stand for another 100 years, especially after adding a steel roof 8 years ago.

There is some very good information on various parts of the cabin. The book falls short in a few areas, however, because of newer technologies and available materials that can help keep a cabin strong and insect free for much longer. For instance, the use of "oakem" and mud for chinking which would always need replacing, perhaps yearly. A much better lifetime product would be PermaChink which you can find on the internet. Another example would be the building of cement piers without instructing about the use of a termite shield. A simple piece of angled flashing will keep termites from ever touching any wood of the cabin as long as the sill is at least 2 inches from the soil.

But these are things that COULD be added in an update. The info that was used looks like something from the 50s, so it's no surprise that the book is dated. However most of the log construction methods are solid. The tools may have changed but the concepts are basically the same.

If you are truly interested in the grueling-yet-fun experience of building a log cabin, I would also seek out "How to Build Your Home in the Woods" by Bradford Angier, as well as "Building a Log Cabin From Scratch" by Dan Ramsey. Each of these would help round out your education and the latter is the most modern and complete of these.

NOTE: Be prepared for HARD WORK over several months. This is not something to be attempted by lazy people!
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 15, 1998
Format: Paperback
This 'older' book shows you in simple diagrams how to build rustic log structures and furniture the original way. I have used the methods to build a fantastic fence from trees harvested from my own property. I have also built most of the birdhouses. This book is not really for building a log cabin. It is the greatest book of folk art for rustic log furniture and structures I've ever seen.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia B. Schmidt on January 23, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got this for my 12 year old son who was fasinated with the PBS special showing the man who built a cabin in Alaska. It was a big hit! He has been reading it ever since Christmas morning. He says it really tells you how to build and furnish a Log cabin - and what tools you need.

Anything that gets a 12 year old excited about reading is good in my book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Stream Hiker on August 17, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved the book. It will help you gain a better understanding of many of the details that must be considered when building a log cabin, from tools, to site selection, to the joints used in joining log corners, to the installation of windows and doors.

I will say though, that the part of the title "using only hand tools and the woods around you" is total bull. He calls for all kinds of things that cannot be foraged from the woods, like portland cement and 20 penny nails to name a couple.

I wish I could find a book that took that title to heart and actually used only natural materials; if such a book does exsist this is surely not the one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John on January 29, 2014
Format: Paperback
I think maybe I should build a log cabin. If you build the cabin as so many of the pioneer people did, you won't have Portland cement, or 20 penny nails. A lot of the fasteners were no more that wooden pegs or hand made dowels. As far as the footing on the cabin is concerned, use gravel after you have cleared and flattened the area you wish to build on. For the footing, one can use hand made 4 x 6s or square four sides of logs. Go from there and put in a wooden floor, ( fashion your own boards). Too many people today are too modern.They seem to want at least 1/2 of everything they use made for them. Decide what you want and go for it. Don't complain about what you don't have. OK, I'll shut up.Thanks for your time.

John
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By William Lattanzio on December 18, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book not planning to build a log cabin but just for general knowledge. The book is quite sound in it's advice although somebody building a log cabin today would certainly use some more modern techniques. However, I will say that if you needed to build a log structure basically by hand this book could probably get you through it. It may not be a resort but it will be dry.
I particularly liked the section on rustic furniture and fence building. I built several of the projects and they turned out quite well. This book is good for any fan of the outdoors and rustic building. Just amazing to think that not too long ago this is basically how things were done.
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20 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 15, 1999
Format: Paperback
great book for beginners easy to read information lots of step by step details
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Voluntaryist on September 13, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not every book can cover every aspect of major construction project... but if you're interested in building a log cabin and rustic furniture... then this is a good start.
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